Elizabeth Harrower’s In Certain Circles is a stunning novel about class and marriage and power; Can Xue’s The Last Lover is a tedious surrealistic farce.
Serbian writer David Albahari’s fascination with uncertainty fuels a grim, sardonic tragi-comedy in which silence plays an elemental but enigmatic role.
On more than one occasion in The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs Greil Marcus argues that the original recordings of some of his picks don’t hold a candle to their cover versions.
There’s room to wonder if Vladmir Jabotinsky would have accepted Menachem Begin, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu as his legitimate Zionist heirs.
YUP’s uneven Jewish Lives offers a series of short, accessible biographies that could become a significant literary mural, showcasing the scope of Jewish culture.
The books are bleak in that Pierre Michon provides no reassuring, idealistic view of the creative urge. Art leads to no transcendence, no permanent uplifting sentiment. Making poems or making pictures is a rough daily business.
Cohen devotes little space to Bernard Berenson’s art historical methodology, now largely superseded by modern approaches. She relates Berenson’s less admirable qualities without judging them.
The influence of two centuries of dandies on fashion — and the artful, strategic, ready-for-the-paparazzi self-presentation at the heart of modern celebrity — is on wide-ranging and colorful display in the Rhode Island School of Design Museum exhibit.
There is a steadiness about Nicholas Roe’s writing that is deceptive; the life in the Life does not jump off the page, but it accumulates during the reading so that something of what it felt like to be around John Keats remains, as things do when truly experienced.
At first glance, Oz and Oz-Salzberger’s “Jews and Words” seems to be an unexceptional if elegantly written and occasionally witty contribution to the Jewish bookshelf.